Jurassic World: Evolution – News

So I know it’s the middle of rAge weekend (that article will come soon, by the way) but in the northern hemisphere, somewhere out there, at Frontier Expo 17, Frontier released footage from within the game engine of their latest upcoming IP: Jurassic World: Evolution.

I frikkin love Jurassic Park, I love Jurassic World and I love the two films in between them as well (yes, this includes JP3, much as many people may hate on it I found it enjoyable). So when I was set upon by the news that we’d be getting a Jurassic World game (with a trailer that literally just popped up out of nowhere), you can imagine that I decided to flip out.

 

For those who have yet to see the original trailer and this newest one (or if you just want to watch them again), here are the links:

Jurassic World: Evolution trailer

And the JW:E in-game graphics first look trailer

 

So far, according to Frontier’s website and other news articles I’ve read, JW:E will be somewhere in between JPOG (Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis) and Jurassic World: The Game; in that gameplay will generally be similar to JPOG but you’ll also be able to “bioengineer new dinosaur breeds” as we (sort of) do in Jurassic World: The Game.

 

What I’ve managed to glean is that the player will be making decisions based on three areas: Entertainment, Security and Science. Between these, and the combination thereof, players will build their own unique parks; which, unlike the parks in the films, don’t have to fail – but that’s entirely up to you, of course. Very much like in JPOG, there will be ‘natural disasters’ so the infamous typhoons that Isla Nublar and her sister islands are so well known for will have a say in what you do from time to time.

 

Then, of course, there is life’s little habit of constantly finding ways…

I’m sure you all know what that means.

 

PS: After reading the completely subjective opinion I have written about above, my Best Friend and partner in crime (though there is lack of criminal evidence to support that statement) has forced me to add the fact that the “I told you so ” from her lips will form the moment I played this game. She is convinced that it will be a huge failure. And for the sake of peace at home,  I will entertain her notion. Please, JPE, prove this female wrong.

PPS: I (the actual author of this blog) did not write the above PS, that was written by said partner in crime; the very same partner in crime who made me promise not to watch the new IT without her – don’t worry, partner in crime, I probably wouldn’t have gone near the cinema without you while that film was still on the circuit.

 

PPPS: But it can’t possibly be all that horrid, can it? It’s being developed by Frontier, the same people who made Rollercoaster Tycoon World; and if JPE is anything like RTW, it will be spectacular (especially with the attention to detail that Frontier is so well known for).

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer

The trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 just dropped!

And it was…

Kind of underwhelming.

 

 

Rockstar seems to be going for the same marketing technique as what they did with GTAV; releasing a short teaser and then a longer trailer almost a year later. But the trailer for GTAV just had so much more stuff than what we got out of this trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2.

I did however manage to glean some information from different sources.

 

Set before Red Dead Redemption, we will be playing as outlaw Arthur Morgan; it seems we may be seeing the beginnings of the Van der Linde gang and maybe even the recruitment of John Marston (my own little theory, might not happen but I can dream).

If the trailer is anything to go by, the map will be huge, and it sounds like Rockstar will be taking many of the heist mechanics they originally made for GTAV and putting them into Red Dead Redemption II.

I was really hoping for a bit more, and I won’t say much more until we learn much more. Still no release date, but at least the game hasn’t been delayed further, set for a Spring 2018 release (Spring as in, spring in the northern hemisphere, so anywhere between March and June).
Anywho, here is the link to the trailer. Let me know what you guys think.

Bethesda GoT Game?… Nope!

Remember the story of how Skyrim was made?

Or, rather, the part where Bethesda started making Skyrim? No, not the part where they rushed it and didn’t get to fully flesh out the quests and actually finish the game, I’m talking about the part where they were offered the opportunity to make a game based on Game of Thrones. Remember that?

And for years we all thought “I love Skyrim, but wouldn’t it be cool if Bethesda made a GoT game?” and then it nearly happened and we all started screaming bloody murder.

 

Just a few days ago, a listing popped up on Target’s online store, a listing under the name “Bethesda: Game of Thrones”. All the Thrones fans thought this was amazing, but the Bethesda cult knew better…

For quite a while, Bethesda has been throwing out Fallout and Elder Scrolls games, with a Wolfenstien game thrown in the mix somewhere, but with Bethesda doing nothing but releasing Skyrim on every console they can find and not actually making the next Elder Scrolls game, their fans (myself included) are very disappointed – and the return of paid mods definitely isn’t helping their case.

Bethesda knows they make good games, people are still playing Skyrim, and, nearly six years after the fact, it’s community has done nothing but grow (granted, Skyrim SE did bolster the ranks considerably last year, but I’m talking about before that). Skyrim has stood the test of time as one of the most iconic games out there… and Bethesda knows, has openly admitted it too, that it isn’t even finished. I don’t know if the devs started late or if they just got off to a slow start, but at the end of the day, there are so many unfinished quests in Skyrim. It was going to be possible for you to lose the war, regardless of which side (Empire or Stormcloak) you picked; but Bethesda wasn’t able to finish it and so they cut the content… needless to say, they left the programming in the game files so modders have since resurrected the civil war.

Think about that: Bethesda released an unfinished game, and it is incredible, they know this. To them, that just means they can keep putting out unfinished games, start slacking off; or, as they’re doing now, milk Skyrim more than Ubisoft could ever dream of milking the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

To me, that says that if Bethesda actually tried, and took their time with a game, it would be glorious and people would play it for decades to come.

But then they released Fallout 4 and it was not as great as it was hyped up to be.

 

So now, among Bethesda’s cult of followers, we all know that they actually make horrid games (which we still love, for some odd reason).

And that’s why we don’t want them touching George’s masterwork; because it will quite literally be a reskin of Skyrim.

Don’t believe me? Bethesda did exactly that when they released Skyrim, they used the things they had put into Oblivion; the same game engine, many of the same animations and a good deal of the hitboxes. Some of the coding in Fallout 4 has also shown itself to be the same as Skyrim’s.

 

Target has since apologised for the mishap, “This is not a real product – we’re sorry for any confusion.” Notice how they’re avoiding the part where they explain how this happened. I’m sure Target has launched an internal investigation of sorts in an attempt to figure out who created the listing.

 

So, to any Game of Thrones fan reading this, pray that Bethesda doesn’t make a GoT game, pray.

 

 

Side note: wouldn’t it be cool if CD Projekt Red made a Game of Thrones game? They have consistently gotten story, gameplay and graphics perfect time and time again.

Creation Club: Are Paid Mods Making A Comeback?

A few years ago, Bethesda tried to make gamers pay for mods – particularly through Steam (note that this was before mods were brought to current generation consoles, it was still under consideration at the time). Some modders wanted to charge for their work and were perfectly fine with the idea, but others, including some of the biggest names in the modding community, were not okay with the idea.

 

Bethesda snuck a little something into their Creation Club reveal at E3 this year, showing that you could download mods using points… points that would either be earned by completing in-game actions or through actually paying with your hard earned cash. There is no official statement on how Creation Club will actually work, even the website for the program is vague on how modders will be paid and how much they will be paid for their work.

What we do know is that Bethesda will allow modders to apply to the site, these mod authors will then be verified (or not) and will be paid for any mods they create and upload to the Creation Club. One of the major criterions being that you cannot upload any pre-existing mods, it has to be something new that you created – this prevents people from creating accounts, somehow getting verified and then uploading someone else’s hard work to the site with their own name slapped on it. And mod authors will have to pitch their mod ideas to Bethesda first, because Bethesda doesn’t want to put time into something that sounds like it probably won’t do well.

This sounds like a pretty safe system but there is something we have to be clear on: this is not the return of paid mods, this does not mean that all mod authors have to charge for their work, just those that want to get paid for what they do. These mod authors will work alongside Bethesda’s in-house developers to create new content for games like Skyrim Special Edition and Fallout 4. Which, when you think about it, makes it easier to understand why Bethesda wants to charge for these mods, because their developers are putting in time that would otherwise be used to develop games for the company – games that would make money.

And that is understandable; at the end of the day, Bethesda is a company and they need to pay their staff somehow. They’re not going to freely host the servers for a site that allows mod authors to work alongside their developers, those developers need to get paid, that site has maintenance costs. Which begs the question as to why they would do it in the first place: because mod authors are putting in valuable time to create something for free.

And that’s it right there: time is money. Many mod authors enjoy what they do but can you really blame them for trying to make a little money off of their hard work? Can you really blame them? Because if modders got paid enough to cover their living expenses and actually have money left over on top of that then they would most definitely be spending their time doing nothing but modding; they wouldn’t only be modding in their free time and it wouldn’t be a hobby anymore, it would be a job. And whether or not it becomes a job is entirely up to the mod author.

But if a mod author wanted to make money off of their mods, it seems the Creation Club is the right way to go about it; Bethesda won’t be employing these modders, they’ll just be paying them for whatever work they put out in their own time. That way a mod author can keep their day job and modding stays a hobby (which it should be), a hobby that earns them a little bit of extra cash on the side.

 

 

 

While I don’t necessarily support paid mods; if I had to pay for every mod I’ve downloaded, I would be way past bankrupt; I’m definitely not against it. Because who am I to tell a person to give me the fruits of their labour for free?

Either way, I’m sure many mod authors will continue to fly the Forever Free banner on their Nexus pages.

 

E3 2017 After Action Report – Devolver Digital

Some of my friends thought Ubisoft had won E3 this year, others said Sony won. I told them to watch the Devolver Digital press conference, thinking that maybe they’d change their minds… but sadly I think their brains have turned to mush.

 

Devolver knew no one would take them seriously, this not only being their first time at E3 but also – yeah, I don’t know what to say. Devolver specialises in publishing indie games, which is something that other companies are now scrambling to do, but for some reason, people still look down on Devolver Digital.

Seriously guys, why you gotta hate on Devolver?

 

Devolver Digital knew no one would really take them seriously, so they decided to be as unconventional as they could. Their ‘conference’ was only fifteen or so minutes long and most of it consisted of skits performed on stage. I can’t really say I was canning myself but I definitely found it funny, as did the ‘audience’ (still not sure if that was a real audience or just a bunch of actors). Devolver made sure to reuse clips of the ‘audience’ over and over again, adding to the crazy gag that was their ‘conference’.

Don’t bother opening a new tab to see what they announced because they didn’t announce anything, the games they showed have already been announced. Another highly unconventional business practice.

 

If you’re looking to watch the Devolver Digital ‘press conference’, here’s the link, but seriously, you really do have to watch it.

E3 2017 After Action Report – Nintendo

I’m not much of a Nintendo fan, I played Legend of Zelda and the Metroid games as a kid and that’s about it.

 

Okay, here goes.

 

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a thing. Yay?

Kirby is getting a new game for the Switch.

Metroid Prime 4 is coming. I’m excited for this one.

Switch is getting a Yoshi game (I used to think this little guy was adorable, then ScrewAttack’s Death Battle pit him against Riptor and he friggin won). Not yay.

Rocket League is heading to Switch.

Breath of the Wild is getting two DLCs.

Pokken Tournament DX is also heading to Switch, while an as yet unnamed Pokemon RPG is in development.

And, last but not least; Super Mario Odyssey turns Mario into a demon that can possess anything. Super Mario just got Super Creepy.

E3 2017 After Action Report – PC Gaming

I’ve never been all that interested in the PC Gaming E3 conference but this year was different.

 

The show kicked off with an expansion to XCOM 2. War of the Chosen adds three new champions (an assassin, a warlock and a hunter). The expansion is much larger than any other previously released for the game and boasts new weapons, recruitable factions and a campaign.

Age of Empires is something that really didn’t need the 4k treatment, but it is a great way to renew interest in an old game. The units now move on sixteen faces, instead of just four or eight like in the original, so movement will appear much more fluid and the sprites will look just that much more alive.

Then there is Total War: Warhammer 2, which is now confirmed to have four factions, only three of which have so far been revealed to us so far (lizard-men, high elves and dark elves).

BattleTech got some screentime too, showing us a few minutes of the single-player campaign.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War has shown itself to have a DLC, The Blade of Galadriel. The DLC will introduce a playable female elf named Altariel who will also get her own mini-campaign.

Playerunknown’s Battleground will be getting some massive updates to weather and the climbing and vaulting systems, which will affect greatly affect gameplay.

Lawbreakers is getting a final closed beta on June 28 and will get open access beta on June 30. For those who don’t know what Lawbreakers is (don’t worry, I only found out it even existed a week or two ago), think of Quake Champions but with low gravity.

 

This year’s PC Gaming conference wasn’t incredibly eventful, but it definitely wasn’t bland.

E3 2017 After Action Report – Sony

Sony could very well have won E3 this year… if not for the technical difficulties they had at the start, because I didn’t hear anything during that Horizon Zero Dawn DLC trailer.

 

But hey, found the trailer online and I have to say, I’m liking the sound of it. I never really got to play Horizon Zero Dawn but from the gameplay footage I’ve seen since the game’s initial release, it is amazing and the DLC promises on exactly the same thing. So I’m sure it will be no less than expected.

 

Uncharted is getting a spin-off, titled Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Doubtless, the gameplay will be similar to that found in Uncharted 4 but it seems the two protagonists, mercenary Nadine Ross and treasure hunter Chloe Frazer, do not like each other; I’m sure they have good reasons for hating one another and I’d like to find out why, which I’m sure I will when the game comes out.

 

Destiny 2. Okay, so I was hoping for a little more on the single-player campaign but Sony focused the showcase entirely on the multiplayer. Seriously, just when you guys figure out we want single-player, you promise one but then talk about the multiplayer instead; come on, learn.

 

Shadow of the Colossus is getting a remaster for the PS4 and PS4 Pro; apparently, it’s being helmed by the same people who recreated it for the PS3, so they shouldn’t break the game (we hope). Seriously, this game never gets old and I’d love to play it again – although I probably could, if I knew anyone who had it; but still: REMASTER, we gamers love hearing that word. What could possibly go wrong?

 

We got our first look at Call of Duty: World War II’s multiplayer and, I’ll be honest with you, it didn’t show much; but it definitely looks like we’ll be seeing the much grittier side of the war than we have in previous games.

 

The next entry in the God of War franchise has been slated for an early 2018 release, no actual date has been given just yet. The trailer we were shown gives us another look at those glorious graphics and an inside peek into the relationship between Kratos and his son, as well as a little story information. We still don’t know how Kratos ended up in the frozen wastelands of the Nords but we do know that the gods there already don’t like him – oh, and the World Serpent wants to help him.

 

Detroit: Become Human also got a showcase, giving us more story information. Well, not really, it just made the story seem more epic. All we know is that you get to decide whether or not to take part in the robot uprising.

 

With regards to Playstation VR, we got glimpses of TESV: Skyrim, Final Fantasy 15 (I’d love to see how the gameplay would work, or if it will just be the fishing and camping, which would be lame), Starchild, Moss and Superhot VR. I’m interested to see how these games work, but from what we could see of the Skyrim, aiming now looks very finicky and weird, but we’ll see how that turns out in the future.

 

But there are two games that really caught my eye, and those would be Spider-Man and Monster Hunter World. We got gameplay for the one (Spider-Man) and an extended trailer for the other (Monster Hunter World) and I CANNOT WAIT for either of them to come out.

 

Sony did pretty well this E3, but I still somehow feel like they could have done better.

E3 2017 After Action Report – Ubisoft

Ubisoft did really well this year, but they weren’t as amazing as they could have been.

No more Aisha Tyler (still not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing) but the cringy dudes who were actually presenting the stream did make a comeback in the form of two guys who were different to the two cringy dudes who actually presented the stream last year.

That and: opening with Rabbids? Seriously? I get that you wanted Miyamoto on stage right at the start to get people hyped but seriously? Come on, Ubisoft, you can do better.

 

Speaking of Rabbids, Miyamoto gave Ubisoft permission to do something with Mario on the condition that they “did something new with the character” and didn’t make “a side-scrolling jumping game”. Well, that’s not too hard to do; but Ubisoft went with turn-based strategy RPG, with gameplay being eerily reminiscent of XCOM. Which I’ll admit looked kind of interesting but if it were on a convention floor, I probably wouldn’t be too upset if I didn’t get to play it.

 

So besides Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, I’m only going to talk about the three largest franchises to appear, starting with Assassin’s Creed.

 

We all know how this goes. Ubisoft wants to make an Assassin’s Creed game, there are leaks everywhere, and eventually, we know what the main character’s name is before the game’s title is even announced (another thing we generally know before the official announcement).

But let’s be honest, Assassin’s Creed: Origins looks spectacular. Eagle Vision is now based on an actual eagle (still want to know how it hovers like that) and not some sixth sense (I’d still like to see how said sixth sense actually became a thing in the Assassin’s Creed canon) and combat has been completely redone. In previous AC games, if you wanted a cool kill animation or killstreak, you had to counter-kill an enemy and chain-kill the rest, or you would just counter-kill everyone; and that’s what the combat was based on: silent assassinations and countering. But in Origins, YOU have a chance to drive combat, you carry a shield with which to block (and attack) and you have several other weapons to choose from. The combat definitely appears more fluid but the one thing everyone is freaking out for is that mid-air shot with the bow that we saw in the very first gameplay footage.

And from the half hour of gameplay footage after the press conference, we find out that the map is enormous and virtually any surface is traversable. Gameplay is also level-based, meaning that the game will continue to provide a challenge no matter how many hours you put in (no word yet on a level-cap), there are three main areas of skill and you can now loot gear from enemies. For those accustomed to playing stat-based games, you’re going to love the new gear system. This isn’t just “do certain missions to unlock the next level of armour”, loot now has a rarity system and there are numbers to crunch. Then there are the effects that different items will have; certain bows will fire poison-tipped arrows and some khopeshes (a type of sword, this will probably be the main melee weapon besides the glaive) will swing faster than others.

The best part about the levelling system is that it works differently to the way it did in AC Syndicate, now, instead of earning exp through certain activities, you earn exp for most of the things you do (including killing random guards).

The gameplay looks incredible and I absolutely cannot wait to give this game a try. But Ubisoft, you have got to explain that giant snake. If that’s Apep, are we gonna fight Sobek too?

 

After Origins we have The Crew 2, which now focuses on every type of motorsport out there; the trailer showing all manner of aircraft, boats, cars and bikes. The racing game competition just keeps getting tighter this year, with EA throwing out another Need for Speed and another Forza game on the horizon as well. I look forward to giving this game a try, might even buy it and use it to satisfy all my racing needs.

 

And then we have Skull and Bones, the creative teams at Ubisoft got just as hooked as we did on the naval combat in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. So they made a game based entirely on naval combat. Literally; even when you board another ship, you don’t take control of the captain or any of the crew members, you just hope that you’ve damaged the ship enough for your crew to take command.

I’m all for a little bit of virtual piracy (no, not illegally downloading games, movies and music; SHHHH!!!), and this game seems like just the way to do it. And seeing as there’s co-op, you and your friends can terrorise the high seas together.

 

And that wraps up this After Action Report, I would talk about the other games Ubisoft showcased but Skull and Bones, AC Origins and The Crew 2 are the ones that really stuck out. What did you think of Ubisoft’s press conference? Let me know in the comments down below.

E3 2017 After Action Report – Bethesda

Bethesda, I’m actually really disappointed in you this year. No one was really asking for The Evil Within 2 (which I’m sure we’ll enjoy, either way) but this year you really weren’t that great. You kind of just spent half the time reminding us of the things you’d made and then announced two sequels and what looks like a DLC.

But I’ll be honest, DOOM VFR looks pretty damn cool. I was hoping for something a little different, more like the actual game and less of the whole teleporting around and shooting stuff while just standing on the spot but what we got looks better than last year. Same goes for Fallout VR. Looks good, just not sure if they’ll really draw in the crowds.

 

The Evil Within 2 looks amazing but, I’m going to say it again, no one was asking for it. We weren’t really all that hyped for a sequel, because the game didn’t feel like it needed one. But hey, I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun answering the unanswered questions that the first one left us with.

 

Okay, so there is one thing I was really looking forward to and I’m glad we got it: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. Bethesda teased this last year and I’m really happy that they’re delivering, the trailer was a mix of live action and gameplay (minus any form of UI) and now we can see what was so “fucking bananas”: a woman pregnant with twins repeatedly stabbing a nazi while her friend is tripping acid. What could possibly go wrong?

 

We have also had a look at what seems to be a sequel to Dishonoured 2. Death of the Outsider follows Daud, the man who killed Empress Jessamine Caldwin, and his ally, Billie Lurk, now cybernetically enhanced. The trailer starts with Billie infiltrating a mysterious ship and freeing Daud; upon asking who their next target is, Daud tells her that they’ll be killing The Outsider.

Note that this is not a DLC and it is in fact a standalone game.

 

Then we have Elder Scrolls Legends. Which seems to now also have a DLC called Heroes of Skyrim. Not entirely sure what to say about this other than I’ll be giving it a try sometime in the not too distant future.

Speaking of Elder Scrolls, Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is the next in a long line of DLCs that expand on the already massive world of ESO. I might buy ESO again, just to give Morrowind a try, but I might actually just stick with Skyrim and keep waiting for The Elder Scrolls VI.

 

Bethesda, I’m not going to lie, I loved the whole Bethesdaland thing, the way it was presented, the animation style, the whole thing, felt very Fallout; nice way of avoiding cringy presenters and company executives messing up their lines, I feel like Ubisoft should take a page from your book and follow suit.

BUT… where the heck is Starfield?

I get that you guys are busy with DOOM VFR, Fallout VR, New Colossus and the rest but seriously guys, a new IP could have saved your showcase; might have even won you E3 this year. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to wait for next year to even see anything of Starfield.

 

Oh, and guys, we all know how Bethesda works, we’ll be playing The New Colossus, Death of the Outsider and The Evil Within 2 before the end of the year.

Sony, it’s up to you now.